Time for DC Comics's September 2013 trade paperback and collections solicitations. We've all been waiting for these solicits to arrive to finally get the full scoop on DC's now annual September event, which this time is Villains Month/Forever Evil.
But September's solicitations also bring with them a spate of Superman-themed collections (timed, certainly, for the Man of Steel movie, though one would think these would be better off arriving now than being order-able now), plus more Batman: Death of the Family collections and a few odds and ends. Let's take a look, shall we?
• Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years HC
• Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years HC
Though it's nice to see Superman and especially Lois Lane receiving these anniversary collections, there's some confusion in the contents list. The Superman volume, for instance, includes Action Comics #0, #1, and #2. That zero issue is undoubtedly the New 52 Zero Month issue, while Action #1 and #2 are probably the 1938 issues, though the solicitation doesn't make that distinction between the original numbering and New 52 issues. (If it turns out the Superman collection includes the New 52 Action Comics #1-2 and not the 1938 issues, I imagine some people will have something to say about that.)
One might equally wonder in the Superman book whether the Superman issues listed are pre-Crisis, post-Crisis, or New 52 (Superman has changed its numbering three times, while Action Comics has only changed numbering twice). Surely issues like Superman #11, #17, and #53 are the Golden Age comics and not the Byrne era; at the same time, Superman #75 listed right after them is probably the Dan Jurgens "Death of Superman" issue.
The issue listings for the Lois Lane book are equally unclear.
• Superman: The Man of Steel—Believe TP
This collection of seemingly inspirational-themed Superman stories includes some nice uncollected issues from various eras, including Adventures of Superman #623 by Joe Casey (during a run where Casey never had Superman resort to violence to save the day), Action Comics #810 by Joe Kelly, and Superman #185 by Geoff Johns, all from the introspective time just before and after the Ending Battle storyline.
• Superman: Dark Knight Over Metropolis TP
Please pre-order this. Don't read the description DC has released, which unequivocally spoils the last page of the book. Just take my advice and buy it. This trade collects an early Dan Jurgens/Jerry Ordway/Roger Stern Superman story -- perhaps one of my favorite Superman eras -- in which a murder in Gotham brings Batman to Metropolis, just as Superman is dealing with he, Lois, and others being targeted by Intergang. It's an interesting mystery, there's great interplay between Superman and Batman (surpassed only perhaps by Dave Gibbons and Steve Rude's World's Finest), and the end of the story is an important event in post-Crisis continuity -- I've long thought that every fan knows what happens at the end of "Dark Knight Over Metropolis," they just don't realize this is where it happened.
For years, Dark Knight Over Metropolis has been on my personal short list for issues I'd like to see collected. I will be crushed -- crushed! -- if this book doesn't make it through.
• Superman Adventures: The Man of Steel TP
• Superman: H’el On Earth HC
Collects Superman #13-17, Superboy #14-17, and Supergirl #14-17. As with DC's other recent crossover collections, I'll be skipping this and just picking the individual volumes for each books.
• Batman, Incorporated Vol. 2: Gotham’s Most Wanted HC
Villains Month nothing -- this is the big release of September 2013 (actually doesn't come out until November). Includes the Batman, Inc. special, which itself doesn't actually come out until August.
• Batman and Robin Vol. 3: Death of the Family HC
• Catwoman: Death of the Family TP
• Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3 -- Emperor Penguin HC
Also here comes the "Death of the Family" tie in volumes, the Batman books in November and the Catwoman book in October. These will make for kind of funny reading, because Batman, Inc. Vol. 2 takes place in the middle of these, after "Death of the Family" but before "Requiem" -- for the complete story, you may have to switch back and forth between volumes.
• Deadshot: Beginnings TP
I don't feel nearly as strongly about this book as I do Superman: Dark Knight Over Metropolis, but if you want this Deadshot volumes, I recommend pre-ordering it; it feels like another one that could be cancelled before publication. Includes a couple of Batman issues plus John Ostrander's four-part Deadshot miniseries; I'm (just a little) disappointed they didn't include Deadshot's top hat-wearing appearance, too, and mildly surprised they didn't find a way to work some Green Arrow material in here in reference to the Arrow TV show.
• Aquaman Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis HC
The Aquaman book, disappointingly, still holds at collecting Aquaman #14-16, #0, and Justice League #15-17. The Justice League: Throne of Atlantis book includes all of those issues and more, with just the exception of the zero issue. This is a definite skip for me; I might as well just get the Justice League book and buy Aquaman #0 digitally for a fraction of the price.
• Justice League of America Vol. 1: World’s Most Dangerous HC
I'm curious whether DC will include all 52 state variants within this collection. Maybe thumbnails of each?
• I, Vampire Vol. 3: Wave of Mutilation TP
• Suicide Squad Vol. 3: Death Is For Suckers TP
The final collection of I, Vampire (sob!) and also the last collection of Adam Glass on Suicide Squad -- I started out quite wary of his run but grew to like it quite a bit.
Those are my picks -- what's on your buying list for September? (Hint -- Superman: Dark Knight Over Metropolis!)